The first few weeks | #2

I have to plead guilty to being an enormous procrastinator, so now, having found a few peaceful moments, I’m stepping into the time machine again to reflect upon how the first few weeks of my internship progressed.

My internship is at a small tech startup called Katalysis, so it’s not quite the structured internship one would find at a large company. Thus my challenge, as I mentioned in my last post, has been to be vocal about how light or heavy I find my workload and about what exactly I’d like to do. Fortunately, there is ample opportunity to do this. We have daily feedback standups as a team and once a week I touch base with my bosses, who are sensitive to making sure that I like the tasks I’m engaged in.

This has had both its plusses and minuses for me. The upside, of course, is that I have some degree of control over what I do. The downside is that, finding a task difficult or unpleasant (cough-cough web development cough-cough), it can be easy to back away from it even if it might help me develop a valuable skill.

So to sum it up, the challenge of being in an environment where I am afforded independence and flexibility is not only that I need the initiative to ask for work when I don’t have enough. In addition, the customizability, so to speak, of my role requires that I think carefully about how much I like what I’m doing, how valuable the skill I’m developing is in itself, and how it will contribute to my long term development goals. Having many small projects instead of one large project also means that I must try to define a certain focus and consistency amongst many the things that I am working on. These are all considerations that I will have to keep fresh in my mind as I move forward.

One thought on “The first few weeks | #2

  • July 19, 2018 at 2:30 pm
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    Hi Michael, thank you for so directly addressing my feedback from the last comment! It was really interesting to read about the positives and challenges of your internship. It’s really nice that you’re allowed so much control over the work you’re doing, but I know how hard it can be to really think critically about the valuable skills you may gain and force yourself to do a task you don’t want to do because you know it will teach you things, when it would be so easy to get out of it! It’s a really good skill to build to get good at thinking critically about your work this way, and I can tell you’re really working on that, which is awesome.

    There is one thing I have found difficult but valuable for myself that I have a feeling you’re thinking about and I’d love to hear your thoughts on. As you’re thinking about these different tasks and making yourself do things you don’t love because you know it will help you build an important skill, have you identified things that you don’t like to do that you may want to steer clear of in your future career? For example, you said you find web development unpleasant. Is this something you foresee yourself really needing in the future, maybe you’ll learn to love it, but you just have to do it? Or is it more something that you’ve realized you don’t like and, in the future, you want to do work that doesn’t require web development?

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